By Earl Bittner
NAVFAC Southeast Public Affairs
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast Environmental Business Line Program Manager John Baxter received the NAVFAC Enterprise 2017 Civilian Engineer of the Year award Feb. 17 at NAVFAC Headquarters on the Washington Navy Yard, Washington D.C.
"Our NAVFAC Engineers of the Year were selected from a group of exceptional candidates, and we are truly fortunate to have extraordinary engineers who serve NAVFAC and the Navy with selfless dedication and technical superiority," said Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, NAVFAC commander and chief of civil engineers.
"They continue to build on our 174-year legacy of outstanding support to the Navy and Marine Corps."
As NAVFAC Southeast's Environmen-tal Business Line Program Manager, Baxter led administrative and technical staff across NAVFAC commands and business lines, as well as the Navy at large.
His willingness to partner with internal and external peers and subordinates, and to train and share knowledge resulted in numerous successful team efforts, including a multi-agency oil spill response exercise which required nine months of advance planning and involved more than 200 participants from 25 organizations.
"I'm very honored and humbled to receive the NAVFAC civilian engineer of the year award," said Baxter.
"The Navy's support of collaboration, partnerships and the focus on mission have allowed me to excel."
Baxter also led the activation of a regional response team as the federal on-scene coordinator during a national-level Nuclear Weapon Accident/Incident Exercise (NUWAIX), which greatly fostered relationships and trust with the regulatory agencies involved.
Higher NAVFAC echelons, headquarters, and other Navy regions frequently reached out to him for advice and guidance about emergency response issues, and to solicit input on policy, standardization, and regulatory changes.
He was also a guest speaker at various national and international conferences concerning operational response planning techniques and innovative methods for communicating during crises.
Baxter stated that NAVFAC Southeast teamwork (not individual efforts) are responsible for his success. "There are a vast number of professionals with considerable integrity and a strong commitment to public health, safety and welfare that have provided tremendous technical competence and leadership that deserve equal gratitude."
Baxter is the first civilian engineer from NAVFAC Southeast to represent the NAVFAC Enterprise at the national level since the organization stood up in 2006.